Ask the Dentist: Best Techniques on How to Brush your Teeth

How to brush your teeth

How to brush your teeth

Best Techniques on How to Brush your Teeth

Most people don't give much thought on how they brush their teeth -- you squeeze some toothpaste onto your toothbrush and you scrub back and forth, up and down, left and right. What's important to understand is how you brush your teeth matters a great deal -- how often do you brush, how long you brush, the kind of technique and the toothbrush you use are all major influences on the effectiveness of your brushing. 

Here are some commonly asked questions we get asked at Capstone Dental in regards to brushing your teeth 

How often should I brush my teeth?

  • You should brush 2 times a day morning and night

    • the night time brush is important because you don't want to allow the bacteria in your mouth feast on the food and plaque stuck on your teeth and gums

    • brush in the morning ideally after food and brush at night before you go to bed

How long should I brush my teeth for?

  • You should brush for at least two minutes each time you brush

What type of toothbrush should I use to brush my teeth?

  • You should brush using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck.

    • The advantage of these toothbrushes is that they remove the plaque and debris from your teeth without damaging your teeth and gums.

Plaque can get caught in the loose gum line between the tooth and the gums. Gently brush into these areas with your toothbrush

Plaque can get caught in the loose gum line between the tooth and the gums. Gently brush into these areas with your toothbrush

Brushing your teeth: It’s all in the technique

Whats the best technique on how to brush your teeth?

  • You should clean your teeth systematically, starting at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion.

  • Treat brushing the gum line like a massage, don't scrub it like a pot or pan. If you scrub too hard from side to side, you can run the risk of causing your gums to recede, as well as damaging the tooth enamel.

  • As you brush along the gums, you want to gently dislodge and brush off the plaque that get trapped in the gum line

  • You should take care to brush carefully along the inner, outer and chewing surfaces, making sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner front areas of the teeth, which are often missed.

  • When you have finished brushing, try to spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth is a really great way to give your teeth some extra ongoing protection.


Do I need to brush my tongue?

Yes, while it may seem strange at first to brush your tongue, doing so actually reduces the bacteria in your mouth and helps your breath stay fresh. All you need to do is push the bristles on the tongue and scrape gently forward.

Dental Floss

Dental Floss

Do I really need to floss my teeth?

  • Yes. And the reason is that the toothbrush can't brush and remove plaque away from every single surface of the tooth and gum line

  • Flossing removes the remaining bits of plaque that are stuck in the gaps between the teeth

  • We often don't even know the plaque is there but its important to remove it so that we don't cause permanent damage to the gums and bones and we will minimise the risk of tooth decay in the gaps between the teeth

Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?

  • There is limited research and studies to say that electric toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes

  • What's important is the technique of brushing your teeth. It's not what you have, but how you use it

  • Having said that, if you find that you find it hard to brush your teeth or not sure how hard you should be brushing on the gums, there are electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors, and most electric toothbrushes do do a lot of the work for us

  • If limited dexterity is an issue, you might consider using a powered toothbrush. They can be programmed to run for two minutes, making keeping to the correct length of brushing time easy. If you’re not sure which type of brush will work for you or your family, ask your dentist at Capstone Dental Seven Hills.

What toothpaste should I use?

  • For adults use any toothpaste with fluoride in it

  • For children aged 6 and over, you can use normal adult strength toothpaste

  • For children between the ages of 2-5, use children's toothpaste with about 500ppm fluoride

  • If you have any allergic reactions or ulcers from your toothpaste, try using toothpastes which don't have SLS/SLES in it

How much toothpaste should I use?

  • For adults, use a small pea sized amount

  • For children, only use a smear of toothpaste on the toothbrush

    • Ensure that your child knows how to spit because ingesting too much toothpaste can affect the development of their adult teeth


General tips for brushing your teeth

Tempting as it is to think that pressing harder on your teeth equals a better clean, the fact is that too much pressure can damage your gums and tooth enamel. If the bristles are wearing out on your toothbrushes well before the three-month mark, you’re pressing too hard and you should ask your dentist to show you a less damaging technique. It’s also a good idea to replace your brush, whether manual or powered, when either the bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.

Regular Dental Check Ups and Cleans

  • Regular check up and cleans ensure that your teeth and gums are carefully examined by the dentist to ensure that they're healthy. It's something we're trained to do much like a mechanic helps to service and make sure all the parts of your are operating smoothly when you take it for a service

  • In order to look after your teeth completely, at Capstone Dental Seven Hills, we recommend seeing us every 6 months for a regular check up and clean.


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